Race gets early start on Saturday | Sports

Friday for Liz Roybal was all about putting the finishing touches on what is to come Saturday.

Roybal, the recreation complex manager for Fort Marcy Complex, found herself on the opposite side of Santa Fe as she took care of the signage and marking the 12-mile bicycle course that is a part of the Santa Fe Triathlon. The sprint triathlon is set to begin at 6:30 a.m. at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center — just before the sun rises above the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Roybal and the coordinators of the running and swimming courses did their part to mark their portions of the race that will see 120 competitors take on the three events. Not even the threat of afternoon rain could dampen Roybal’s spirit.

“It doesn’t matter if it rains [on Saturday], we’ll still go,” Roybal said. “If there is lightning, we might have a little bit of a problem with the swim part, but we’re going to be optimistic.”

Roybal was enthused that the participant field increase from last year’s total of about 80, but she also recognizes that the days of the triathlon obtaining 200 or more entries might be a thing of the past because of the over-saturation of sprint triathlons.

“I think all over the state, we are seeing a decrease,” Roybal said. “We did make the same numbers as [the triathlons in] Los Alamos and Santa Rosa. The market is just saturated. There is a triathlon every weekend, and other extreme sports are on the rise. But we were pleased to get 120 and we’re going to make the best of it.”

Roybal spent the last six month organizing an event she helped start back in 2006, but she emphasized that she was not alone in making a mark in the triathlon. Roybal pointed to the roughly 100 people who have helped out and will on Saturday. They assist with watching over the course, making sure all the competitors have…

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